JUST IN: Wanda Gierhart And Dean Fearing To Co-Chair TACA 50th Anniversary Gala

Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Former Neiman Marcus exec Wanda Gierhart and her fiancé/chef extraordinaire “Dean of Food” Fearing are quite a twosome. Back in 2014, their official joint-project debut was the TACA Custom Auction and what a night it was. The front row was filled with art-loving philanthropists with names like Carlson, Hobson and Brierley.

So, when Wanda, who is chairing TACA’s 50th anniversary year celebration, decided that she would roll up her silk sleeves and chair the black-tie TACA 50th Anniversary Gala on Friday, September 8, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, she sorta got nostalgic and brilliant. She drafted Dean to co-chair it with her.

As for the auction itself, don’t expect dozens of items up for bid. Word has it that it’s going to a very limited number and they’ll be very special.

BTW, the years that Wanda was in charge of curating the auction items were years that brought some very platinum paddles competing for the final bids. ‘Twas great sightseeing!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Lexus TACA Party On The Green

Tia Wynne, Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhardt

Katherine Wynne

Michael and Amy Meadows and Charmaine and George Tang

In celebrating its 50 years of supporting the performing arts, TACA has been undergoing some changes like expanding its fundraising efforts to include the visual arts. Another big change was its annual Lexus TACA Party On The Green that for ages has taken place at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Lisa Garza-Selcer

John Tesar

Janice Provost

Nicolas Blouin

But on Friday, May 12, the whole kit and caboodle was relocated to Sammons Park in the Arts District. Made perfect sense and resulted in success, with loads of the pretty peeps grazing from food station to food station and dancers, singers, actors and musicians performing throughout the night.

Dancers

While the post is being written, the photos are ready for you to check out at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery now!

JUST IN: JPMorgan Chase Exec Michelle Thomas To Chair TACA Board Starting January 1, 2018

It’s just been announced that JPMorgan Chase VP of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations Michelle Thomas will become TACA’s board chair. She will succeed current chair Donna Wilhelm on January 1, 2018, and will hold the position until December 31, 2019.

Michelle Thomas*

According to Donna, “We are thrilled that Michelle will chair the board of directors, and I know TACA will be in excellent hands with her at the helm. Michelle has a rare combination of leadership abilities, strategic insight and skills that will help elevate TACA and its mission of providing financial support and resources to the arts.”

Michelle is well-acquainted with both TACA and the importance of North Texas fundraising, having been “responsible for managing a multi-million dollar corporate giving budget for the Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma regions. She is also responsible for implementing the firm’s strategic approach to philanthropy, which is multifaceted and aims to address community needs in the local market.”

Having served on TACA’s board, Michelle has chaired the TACA Silver Cup Luncheon.

Michelle commented, “I am honored to lead TACA, which has focused on transforming lives through the arts for 50 years. With TACA expanding its grants to include the visual arts, as well as creating a social impact fund, it’s an exciting time to work with the other board members to help lead the organization to even greater heights.”

Her volunteer efforts have included serving on the Advisory Board of the Center for Nonprofit Management, Junior League of Dallas and the Kipp DFW Council, Board of Directors for the Methodist Health Foundation and the UT Southwestern Medical Foundation. 

The Dallas native’s collection of accolades include 2014 Minority Business Leader in the Dallas Business Journal and being the recipient of the 2015 Business and Civic Leader award from the Dallas Black Dance Theater, the 2015 Income Award from United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the 2017 Heritage Award from the African American Museum.  Under her leadership, JPMorgan Chase was named Outstanding Corporation of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2015.

* Photo credit: James Edward

2017 TACA Lexus Party On The Green Line Up Of Chefs, Sponsors And Ticket Opportunities Revealed For Sammons Park Celebration

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Tia Wynne (File photo)

Wine pull (File photo)

Official “Diet Drop Date” is Friday, May 12. That’s when 14 chefs will provide one of North Texas’ finest grazing experiences at the TACA Lexus Party On The Green at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Sammons Park. Presented by Highland Park Village, Co-Chairs Katherine Wynne and Tia Wynne have arranged for celebrity chef tastings, a wine cork pull, a silent auction, live music and performances by TACA-supported arts organization in continuing celebration of TACA’s 50th anniversary.

According to TACA Carlson President/Executive Director Wolford McCue, “TACA’s mission is to support the performing arts community, so not only is the AT&T Performing Arts Center the perfect backdrop for TACA Party on the Green, it also provides us more space to showcase several of our beneficiaries. Tia and Katherine have planned an incredible evening with local celebrity chefs and performances by TACA supported arts organizations, all with the goal to raise critical funding for the local arts.”

Dean Fearing (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

The list of chefs includes Nicolas Blouin of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen, John Gilbert of G Texas Custom Catering, Sara Griffin of Chelsea Corner, Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Sader Matheis of Salum Restaurant, Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime and Rosewood Ranches Waygu Beef, Janice Provost of Parigi, Daniele Puelo of CiboDivino Marketplace, Gianni Santin and Tida Pichakron of Haute Sweets Patisserie, Drew Swanson of Wolfgang Puck Catering, John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas and Participating Late Night Chef: Mesero.

The chef sponsors include Faye C. Briggs, Carlson Capital LP, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Inc., Gwen and Leldon Echols, Leah and Jim Pasant, Donna Wilhelm and Wynne Transportation.

Faye Briggs (File photo)

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

Katherine and Tia have arranged for the following opportunities for guests

  • $500 — The entire evening plus early entry at 6:30 p.m.
  • $375 — The entire evening starting at 7:30 p.m.
  • $150 — Late night partying starting at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets and sponsorships are available here!

Thank you notes should go to the following sponsors:

  • Title Sponsor – Lexus / The Dallas – Ft. Worth Lexus Dealers
  • Presenting Sponsor – Highland Park Village
  • Patron Sponsor – The Rosewood Corporation
  • Cork Pull Sponsor – Bank of Texas
  • Wristband Sponsor – Frost Bank
  • Official Airline – American Airlines
  • Host – AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Valet Sponsor – Platinum Parking
  • Media Sponsors – PaperCity, Texas Monthly, CultureMap and MySweetCharity

JUST IN: TACA To Undertake Three Major Initiatives Including The Funding For Both The Performing … And Visual Arts!

Back when TACA started, North Texas’ art community was pretty limited. The arts were largely contained at Fair Park with the opera and musicals taking place in the Music Hall and the visual arts at the Dallas Museum of Arts facility near the lagoon. The Fair Park band shell with its nighttime performances and flying insects created memorable moments for singers. The Dallas Theater Center’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater along Turtle was considered the new hottie in the world of art.  

But that was way back when. As TACA celebrates its 50th anniversary, changes are definitely underway for TACA’s next 50 years to support the overwhelming wealth of art groups in North Texas.

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

This morning, TACA Chairman of the Board of Directors Donna Wilhelm sent a note to the stakeholders about three new initiatives for TACA.

Of the trio, the one that pops to the top of the list is “TACA Funding All Of The Arts In Dallas.” In the past, TACA has only provided funding for the performing arts. But in the future it will also support the visual arts. Before it kicks into place, the criteria for submitting grants requests will be developed and published toward the end of 2017. The deadline for the letters of intent will be Friday, February 1, 2018. The grants for both the visual and performing art groups will be presented in January 2019.

According to Donna, “For 50 years, TACA has funded the performing arts.  However our current Board of Directors has expansive vision—we will now add support of the visual arts. And we will foster arts experience that impacts social change in our North Texas community.”

The other two initiatives, are

  • “Social Impact Through The Arts” — TACA will establish “funds to foster the creation of new performing arts works and innovative performing arts residence programs” focusing on cultural and racial equity, cross-sector partnerships, arts education focusing on under-resourced communities, cross-cultural community collaboration and social change capacity building.
  • “Increased Vibrancy Of The Arts” — TACA will “lead a multi-year effort to empower and expand” the number of artists and arts organizations. The intention is two-fold:
    • To make the Dallas area a destination for performers, visual artists, musicians, writers, directors, backstage professionals, etc.
    • To create an environment that encourages the launch and nurturing of new arts organizations.

To achieve these goals, TACA will “develop a blueprint to learn and adapt strategies” that have been undertaken in other cities and “recreate the best of the best in Dallas, and enhance the impact through collaborative partnerships.”

Donna explained, “TACA is deeply committed to an expansive arts vibrancy in North Texas. We assure our donors, prospective donors and arts organizations that, for over half a century, we have established a grants review process that evaluates, selects and supports the very best organizations.  Every contributed dollar invested in TACA will indeed transform lives through the arts.”

JUST IN: Annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green Is Relocating From The Mansion To AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Sammons Park

Don’t plan on heading to the Mansion for the annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green, because it’s moving to the Sammons Park in the AT&T Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 12, with former Cattle Baron’s Chairs Katherine Wynne and Tia Wynne as the co-chairs.

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Tia Wynne (File photo)

Is it because of the Mansion’s mega-renovations? According to TACA Carlson President/ Executive Director Wolford McCue, “TACA’s mission is to support the performing arts community, so not only is the AT&T Performing Arts Center the perfect backdrop for TACA Party on the Green, it also provides us more space to showcase several of our beneficiaries. Tia and Katherine have planned an incredible evening with local celebrity chefs and performances by TACA supported arts organizations, all with the goal to raise critical funding for the local arts.” 

Party on the Green (File photo)

It will have the traditional wine cork pull, music and silent auction. As of today, the participating chefs will include: Chef Dean Fearing of Fearings Restaurant, Chef John Gilbert of G Texas Custom Catering, Chef Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Chef Sader Matheis of Salum Restaurant, Chef Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime and Rosewood Ranches Waygu Beef, Chef Tom Parlo of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Daniele Puelo of CiboDivino, Chef Gianni Santin and Chef Tida Pichakron of Haute Sweets Patisserie, Chef Andrew Swanson of Wolfgang Puck and Chef John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas.

Presented by Highland Park Village, the event tickets are on sale. VIP tickets (translation: early-bird entry of 6:30 p.m.) are $500 and general admission for the 7:30 p.m. start at $375.

TACA’s 2017 Silver Cup Luncheon Had Some Hits And Misses, But Recipients Nancy Nasher And Walter Elcock Were The Best Of The Best

As TACA approached its 50th anniversary, major changes were underway. Retired was Executive Director Becky Young and in her place was Wolford McCue. The first fundraising occasion showcasing the transition from the past to the future was the 2017 Silver Cup Luncheon on Tuesday, March 7, at the Anatole.

Early on, the question had been raised why the celebration of Dallas art leadership had been moved from the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom (max. capacity: 1,600) to the Chantilly Ballroom (max. capacity: 2,600). Evidently, when the reservation was made last year, it was thought that due to TACA’s 50th Anniversary, extra room would be necessary. More about that later.

David Haemisegger

Caroline Rose Hunt and Barbara Womble

Lee Cullum and Katherine Wynne

Nancy Carlson and Lynn McBee

Wolford McCue, Carol Glendenning, Nelda Cain Pickens, Don Glendenning and Donna Wilhelm

At 11 a.m. the VIP reception took place in the Wedgwood Room with folks like Luncheon Co-Chairs Nancy Carlson and Lynn McBee, Laura Elcock with daughter Hilah Elock Schutt, Jonathan Martin, Michelle Burns, Erin Mathews, Daylon Pereira, Carol Glendenning, Nelda Cain Pickens, Katherine Wynne, Barbara Womble, Capera Ryan and Susan Collins.

Nancy Nasher

Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock

Just a few minutes past the timeline, 2017 Silver Cup recipients Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock opened the big silver gift boxes on the center table. Nancy immediately spotted the logo on the top of the box and showed it to the Neiman Marcus crowd in attendance (Kevin Hurst, Ginger Reeder, Jerry Marcus Smith, Allison V. Smith).

Then Nancy, Walter and the rest of the previous TACA Silver Cup recipients (Ruben Esquivel, John Eagle, James Wiley Jr., Lucilo Peña, Don Glendenning, Brad Todd, Kern Wildenthal, Elaine Agather, Caroline Rose Hunt, Joyce Mitchell and Rebecca Enloe Fletcher) were herded to a couch at the far end of the room. The only hold-up was Luncheon emcee Lee Cullum button-holding Nancy.

From the left: (standing) Ruben Esquivel, John Eagle, James Wiley Jr., Lucilo Peña, Don Glendenning, Brad Todd and Kern Wildenthal; (seated) Elaine Agather, Caroline Rose Hunt, Nancy Nasher, Walter Elcock, Joyce Mitchell and Rebecca Fletcher

Eventually, the photo took place with Nancy and Walter holding their shiny cups.

In the meantime, guests were checking in at the registration tables at the Chantilly entry. Unlike other events, where guests amble on down to the ballroom lobby, the multitude seemed all too happy just to stay put.

But once the doors opened, the hundreds headed into the ballroom. Interestingly, while the tables were seat-to-seat together fronting the stage and head table, there were more than a dozen feet separating the back-row tables from the room’s back wall.

Pam Perella and Leslie Diers

Jeff Byron and Malcolm Reuben

As guests (Peggy Sewell, Diane and Hal Brierley, Mary McDermott Cook, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Jeff Bryon and Malcolm Reuben) entered the ballroom, voices were overhead commenting, as though they were TMZ-ing a red carpet. One guest looked a little bewildered saying, “Did someone have an open mic?” Nope. It was a new add to the event. Alas, with guests vying for their tables in the cozy placement of tables and trying to be heard over the “open mic” audio, an itty-bitty moment of frustration resulted.

Kate Levin and Elaine Agather

Nancy Kasten

Luckily, the head table guests (Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Ginger Reeder, Rebecca Enloe, Water Elcock, Lee Cullum, Donna Wilhelm, Nancy Nasher, James Wiley Jr., Elaine Agather and Kate Levin) had no problems finding their places.

Uptown Players

It wasn’t until the Uptown Players took their places on the stage that the “open mic” situation resulted in an “Aha” realization. However, as emcee Lee tried to take command of the program, one of the actors told her to hold off. They were going to announce that an award was to be presented to … “La La Land.” Unfortunately, the attempt at humor may have looked good on paper, but it resulted in a couple of hand claps surrounded by silence.

Lee finally took charge of the program and provided an abbreviated state-of-the-arts address.

After a first course (roasted red pepper hummus, spring pea dip, baba ganoush, crudité and pita chips), second course (chicken salad in bibb with pimento cheese quiche and quinoa salad with diced vegetables) and dessert (chocolate truffle, mini-lemon curd blueberry tartlet and macaroon) with TACA grant recipients Fine Arts Chamber Players’ Quinlan Facey and Blue Candlelight Music Series’ Baya Kakouberi playing at baby grand pianos on stages at opposite ends of the ballroom, JP Morgan Chase’s Elaine Agather and TACA Board of Directors Chair Donna Wilhelm welcomed the group.

Ndumiso Nyoka

It was then time for NM’s Ginger Reeder. She had been concerned about correctly pronouncing the name of featured performer 2017 SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ tenor Ndumiso Nyoka’s name. (“He sent me the phonetic pronunciation.”) She pulled it off and looked relieved as he sang “La Donna e mobile” with Brian Bentley accompanying him on a grand piano on the stage in front of the head table. Unlike the “open mic,” Ndumiso’s performance scored a resounding wave of applause.

Following introductions by last year’s Silver Cup recipients Rebecca Enloe Fletcher and James Wiley Jr. and Jeremy Strick and John Eagle via video, Nancy and Walter raised the bar on acceptance speeches.

With a voice exuding calm, strength and elegance, Nancy recalled her parents inspiring her “passion for the arts” and how she considered NorthPark to be a “shopping museum.” Looking at her husband David Haemisegger, the very private Nancy said, “David, you have been my steadfast partner in all that we have created. None of this would have been possible without your counsel, your wisdom and unwavering support.”

Then looking at her children Sarah Haemisegger, Isabell Haemisegger and David Haemisegger, she said, “Thank you for being such wonderful sports as your father and I tried to persistently instill in you our love and passion for the arts. I believe that you too will further develop your own unique passion for the arts and make your own mark on our great city. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you.” Her speech received a resounding standing ovation.

Walter admitted that following Nancy was a daunting task. Still, the retired banker/former Dallas Museum of Art Interim Director rose to the occasion. He broke the ice by saying, “I’m just like you — a fiscally conservative art lover, card-carrying ACLU democratic gun lover.”

Unlike Nancy, Walter admitted how the arts had not been paramount in his life. That changed when he “tried to get a blind date” with an art major. “I didn’t know that at that moment I had found the two great loves of my life. For better or for worse, and God knows for richer or poorer, all the credit for that goes to my muse Laura.” As members of the audience sighed, Walter mimicked them.

As much as he loved working with the people during his tenure as interim director of the DMA,  he admitted that turning in the key to “greatest basement in town was painful.”

Walter closed with a quote from Angela Davis, “I am no longer accepting the things that I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” He, too, was rewarded with a standing ovation.

Both Nancy and Walter emphasized the importance of the arts in the future of North Texas. Only they did it with such eloquence that even past recipients were in awe. It was the perfect way to end the occasion.

But there was one final speaker — Bloomberg Associates Cultural Asset Management Principal Kate Levin, who lauded the North Texas leadership’s involvement in the arts. While providing food for thought regarding that future of arts, it transformed the room from the magic of Nancy’s and Walter’s acceptance to a classroom of information. One guest remarked that just as Kate’s talk was getting a little too professorial, she would inject a bit of humor to lighten things up. Still another guest associated with a major arts group seemed a little miffed when Kate suggested that tourism was not all that important or beneficial for the arts.

As TACA enters its 50th year, change is afoot and, like other great undertakings, it’s a work in progress.

For more pixs, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: TACA’s 2017 Silver Cup Luncheon

The performing-art lovers gathered for TACA’s 39th Annual Silver Cup Luncheon honoring Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock.

Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock

As part of TACA’s own 50th anniversary celebration, the luncheon was ramped up with a bigger venue at the Hilton Anatole and some additions to the program. Some worked. Some struck out. Some were base hits. But the recipients pulled off home runs flawlessly.

Uptown Players

While the post is being prepared, check out the people at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MYSweet2017Goals: Wolford McCue

Wolford McCue*

According to TACA President/Executive Director Wolford McCue,

“My goal along with TACA volunteers and staff is to gather an unprecedented amount of support for the unrestricted budgets of TACA-funded arts organizations, and to celebrate the work of each organization whose work is transforming the lives of Dallas area residents.”

* Photo provided by 
TACA

TACA Grant Awards Celebration Distributes $1.3M Again, But Opts Not To Reveal Individual Funding For 49 Performing Art Groups

Transparency. That is the sweet spot of all organizations nowadays, especially nonprofits. Whether it’s ‘fessing up the actual net figure or announcing the distribution of dollars to nonprofits, transparency is the key to over-the-top respect.

Perhaps that why it was surprising that, tonight, TACA shifted gears at its annual Grant Awards Celebration at the Wyly. In years past, the organization used the occasion to announce the exact amounts going to the nonprofits and formally present the thrilled representatives with a check, to the applause of an audience full of fellow nonprofits and TACA board members.

This year, though, there were no individual amounts revealed; nor was there a formal presentation. Instead it was announced that TACA had once again provided $1.3M in grants for area performing art programs. The reason for withholding announcement of the amounts, according to a source, was that they did not want “to hurt feelings.”

Ah, shoot! Feelings, schmeelings.

According to organizers, the determination of funding is made by TACA volunteers spending “many hours during the last 12 months attending performances, as well as evaluating grant applications. The distribution decisions are based on three primary criteria: artistic excellence, administrative and fiscal responsibility and community engagement.”

After being asked about the change of plans, organizers provided the following breakdown of ranges for the 49 organizations:

$5,000-$10,000

  • African-American Repertory Theater
  • Arts District Chorale
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Blue Candlelight Music Series
  • Chamber Music International
  • Chamberlain Ballet
  • Cry Havoc Theater Company
  • Dallas Bach Society
  • Dallas Chamber Music Society
  • Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
  • Echo Theatre
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Plano Civic Chorus
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company
  • Teatro Hispano de Dallas
  • Voices of Change

$10,001-$20,000

  • Avant Chamber Ballet
  • Big Thought
  • Bruce Wood Dance Project
  • Cara Mia Theatre
  • Dallas Chamber Symphony
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
  • Orchestra of New Spain
  • Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • Plano Symphony Orchestra
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
  • Theatre Three
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • WaterTower Theatre

$20,001-$50,000

  • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Dallas Winds
  • Fine Arts Chamber Players
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Junior Players Guild
  • Kitchen Dog Theater Company
  • Lyric Stage
  • Second Thought Theatre
  • Shakespeare Dallas
  • The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Undermain Theatre
  • Uptown Players

$50,001-$95,000

  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Dallas Theater Center
  • Texas Ballet Theater
  • The Dallas Opera
  • TITAS

An additional $200,00 will be distributed via The TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundation’s Artist Residency Fund.

Instead of the usual check presentation, the evening included “a tribute to Becky Young, TACA’s leader retiring after 18 years, as well as students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts performing a scene from Magnolia, written by special guest artist Regina Taylor.”

Becky Young (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Oak Cliff native Regina then told of how the arts had led her into a career of acting and moderated a panel with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Horn David Cooper, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore! Artistic Director Nycole Ray and Bruce Wood Dance Project Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh.

The evening also marked the kick-off of TACA’ 50th anniversary year with Wanda Gierhart spearheading the plans. With the former Neiman’s exec/Chef Dean Fearing‘s bride-to-be Wanda at the helm, it’s gonna be a jaw-dropping year.

JUST IN: North Texas Food Bank CEO Jan Pruitt Is Officially “Stepping Down”

Gee, it seems all the cute nonprofit top  gals are retiring. First, there was TACA’s President/Executive Director Becky Young. Then earlier this week, Trinity Trust’s President/CEO Gail Thomas announced her retirement. Now, word comes that North Texas Food Bank President/CEO Jan Pruitt is “stepping down effective today.”

Becky Young (File photo)

Gail Thomas (File photo)

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

According to the official press release, “Rather than continue with her medical treatment and in consultation with her doctors, she has chosen to spend time with family and friends in the comfort of her home.”

Knowing Jan, after spending over a year battling cancer, she wants to focus on spending the holiday with her family and let her North Texas Food Bank family focus on providing for the thousands in need of food during the neediest time of year.

Luckily, Jan is such a smart cookie. Her vision for NTFB is in place and she has an all-star team in place to see that plan through.

So, if you want the ultimate perfect holiday gift, why not drop Jan a note and make a donation to her baby — North Texas Food Bank. And how about making it the price of a la-di-da dinner at some swanky Dallas restaurant? That suggestion also goes to area restaurateurs and nonprofits, who have long respected Jan’s 20 years at NTFB.

Remember, hunger is the first step in providing people with the ability to be educated, to create, to survive the next day and to even provide for their children and animals. North Texas Food Bank has been the oasis for so many, including your neighbors and strangers.

For the full announcement, follow the jump, but don’t forget to send Jan a note and make that donation.

[Read more…]

TACA And Business Council For The Arts Celebrated The Art Loving Greats

Thursday, October 13, must have been designated somewhere as Art News Day. In one part of town, the TACA crowd shifted their GPS from Jennifer and John Eagle’s nest for the traditional TACA Silver Cup Announcement reception to Marguerite Hoffman’s home. There it was announced that the 2017 Silver Cup Award would be presented to Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock on Tuesday, March 7, at the Hilton Anatole.

Over at the Mayfair in the Sky Club, the Business Council for the Art held a thank you for sponsors and recipients of the Obelisk Awards.

Ah, shoot! What a loss that the two events celebrating the art loving supporter couldn’t have been held just 24 hours apart.

Kevin Hurst, Ryan and Niki Anthony and Jeff Byron

Kevin Hurst, Ryan and Niki Anthony and Jeff Byron

Snapshots: Gunnar Rawlings told Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron that his fiancée Gaby Gutierrez had purchased her wedding dress at the NM flagship… Obelisk Co-Chair Kevin Hurst reported the death of his beloved 12-year-old pup Skylar. Luckily, the household is not without a pooch with Ms. Hayden still in residence…Obelisk Award Luncheon keynote speaker Ryan Anthony and his wife Niki Ryan stopped by, but had to leave before the presentation by Board of Directors Chair Larry Glasgow, Kevin and Luncheon Co-Chair/Tolleson Managing Director Dotti Reeder…Others in the crowd included Patricia Meadows with Mark Roglan, Alfredo Duarte, Laura Einspanier, KERA President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff and her husband David Alhadeff, Big Thought’s Gigi Antoni and Business Council for The Arts CEO Katherine Wagner.

Laura Einspanier and Gunnar Rawlings

Laura Einspanier and Gunnar Rawlings

Dotti Reeder

Dotti Reeder

Katherine Wagner and Alfredo Duarte

Katherine Wagner and Alfredo Duarte

Mary Anne Alhadeff

Mary Anne Alhadeff

There are a couple of changes in this year’s presentation. Instead of taking place at the Fairmont, the event will take place on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion and Pavilion and tickets are moving briskly. Also, glass artisan Jim Bowman had designed the award that was more of an obelisk than last year’s model that was a transparent purple, kidney-shaped bowl.

This year’s honorees include:

Mark Roglan and Patricia Meadows

Mark Roglan and Patricia Meadows

  • Cash America nominated by Junior Players
  • Dallas Film Society nominated by ABCO Inc.
  • Darrell Rodenbaugh nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre and North Texas Performing Arts
  • Mark Roglan nominated by Patricia Meadows
  • Taxco Food Produce nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • The law offices of Eric Cedillo nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • UMB Bank nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms nominated by Allen Arts Alliance
  • Zenetta Drew nominated by Leadership Women

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #1 – Artistic Retreat In Marfa

On the heels of this week’s OMG activites benefiting Les Femmes Du Monde, Equest, Fur Ball, Cattle Baron’s, Partner’s Card, Harvest, KidneyTexas, Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas Symphony, The Elissa Project and so many others that are filling the MySweetCharity Calendar, believe it or not there are still more way-over-the-top events the following week. Needless to say, false eyelashes are going to be in need of major league refreshing with all the razzle dazzle!

But one of those during the week of September 19th is Friday’s black tie TACA Custom Auction Gala at the Mansion. With Deutsche Bank Wealth Management and The Patrón Spirits Company as presenting sponsors, Dianne and Mark LaRoe and Honorary Co-Chairs/adorable buds Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing have had Highland Park Village’s Rachel Michell put together a collection of live auction items.

It will be the last one for TACA President/Executive Director Becky Young, who will be retiring on December 31. Not to worry. Longtime art-loving executive Wolford McCue will be taking over.

But let’s start the countdown of mega-packages with a visit to that Texas landmark of taste — Marfa. Okay, so you’ve got to dig down in the honesty pocket and admit that you haven’t been there in ages … oops, you haven’t been there at all?… but this package will have you wanting to see the changes and what makes this the artist lovers’ terra-sweet-terra!

Artistic Retreat In Marfa (Value: $21,000)*

Artristic Retreat in Marfa*

Artristic Retreat in Marfa**

Spend an unforgettable weekend at the world-renowned Chinati Foundation museum in Marfa, Texas. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access and celebrate at the Chinati Foundation’s annual Weekend Benefit Dinner. While in Marfa, experience the 360-degree views of grass dunes and weathered mountain ranges while staying at the one-of-a-kind Ranch 2810.

  • Six tickets to the 2017 Chinati Weekend Benefit Dinner on Friday, October 13, 2017
  • Dinner for six with Director of the Chinati Foundation Jenny Moore
  • Private guided tour for six of the Chinati Foundation collection
  • Four-day, three-night private accommodations for six at Ranch 2810
* Courtesy of the Chinati Foundation, Jenny Moore and Ranch 2810 
** Photo provided by TACA

2016 TACA Custom Auction Gala Co-Chairs Dianne And Mark LaRoe Host Kick-Off Party With Cool Jazz, Patron Tequila And Big Swan

Dianne and Mark Laroe

Dianne and Mark Laroe

It was a first for TACA. The performing arts organization held a kick-off party for its annual TACA Custom Auction Gala on Thursday, June 2. The location for the KO, attended by about 60 guests, was 2016 Custom Auction Gala Co-Chairs Dianne and Mark Laroe’s ultra-cool Bluffview home.

With the Eric Willis Trio performing equally cool music, Dianne recalled that when she and Mark hardly had two coins to rub together, they started collecting art. There was only one caveat. If one of the twosome wasn’t thrilled about a piece, it was a deal killer.

Eric Willis

Eric Willis

One piece that was a standout was the huge white inflatable swan floating in the pool. No, it wasn’t one of the Laroes’ pieces of art. It was a gift from the Laroes’ daughter-in-law. Dianne loved it so much, she asked for a black swan for her birthday.

Another eye catcher grabbing attention was the display of Patron in the dining room. Patron State Manager Justin Erickson explained that tequila was expanding its use by being included in Starlight Sangria and Silver Sling. In other words, tequila is no longer just for margaritas and shot glasses. And Patron is going to make its presence known at TACA’s black tie event at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Friday, September 23. Makes sense since Patron Spirits Company and Mark’s Deutsche Bank Wealth Management will be the presenting sponsors.

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Other news revealed that Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing will be the honorary co-chairs and Rachel Michell will be auction chair.

Hal and Diane Brierley (File photo)

Hal and Diane Brierley (File photo)

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena (File photo)

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena (File photo)

The host committee will be made up Purvi and Bill Albers, Heather and Scott Alexander, Laura and Michael Bashour, Diane and Hal Brierley, Faye C. Briggs, Marsha Cameron and Michael Halloran, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Connie and Denny Carreker, Lee Cobb and Lucilo Peña, Garry Cox and Don McDermett, Barbara and Don Daseke, Barbara and Steven Durham, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Nicholas Even, Cindy and Charles Feld, Carmaleta and Otis Felton, Tracy Fitz, Andrea Gates, Carol and Don Glendenning, Dawn and Tobin Grove, Gayle and Jim Halperin, Robert Hernandez, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Linda and Steve Ivy, Joe and Louise LaManna, Tara Lewis and John Swords, Holly and Tom Mayer, Lynn and Allan McBee, Rachel and John Michell, Geraldine “Tincy,” Miller, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Leah and Jim Pasant, Carrie and Anthony Scotti, Peggy and Carl Sewell Jr., Marlene and John Sughrue, Courtney and Ed Tauriac, Zannie and Glenn Voss, Karen and Jim Wiley, Donna Wilhelm and Katherine Wynne.

Tara Lewis (File photo)

Tara Lewis (File photo)

Nick Even (File photo)

Nick Even (File photo)

Katherine Wynn (File photo)

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

 

Bruce Wood Dance Project And Dallas Black Dance Theatre Awarded TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Funds

For the fifth year philanthropist Donna Wilhelm has stepped up to provide support for the performing arts. Through the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund, Donna has annually awarded $100,000 in grants “to support the development and performance of innovative new works of music, dance and theater in Dallas County.”

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

The 2016 recipients are the Bruce Wood Dance Project and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Thanks to Donna’s funding, the two dance groups will be able to produce the following programs:

  • “Bruce Wood Dance Project will enlist the creative talents of award-winning music theater composer, arranger, and conductor Joseph Thalken and BWDP Artistic Associate and SMU Meadows School of the Arts alumnus Albert Drake. Their collaborative work will explore the refugee experience across cultures through conversations, music, and dance. The work is scheduled to premiere June 2017 at the Dallas City Performance Hall.
  • “Dallas Black Dance Theatre will mount a new work by choreographer, dancer and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater rehearsal director Matthew Rushing, set to a score developed by world-renowned jazz pianist and composer Ted Rosenthal. The tribute-themed ballet will pay homage to legendary African American dancers and choreographers over the past century, including Talley Beatty, Alvin Ailey, and Donald McKayle. The multi-disciplinary work, utilizing video and live music, is slated to premiere in November.”

Past recipients of the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund have included

  • 2012 — African American Report, Cara Mia Theatre Company and Dallas Theater Center
  • 2013 — Second Thought Theatre, Undermain Theatre and Voices of Change
  • 2014 — Dallas Bach Society, Dallas Children’s Theater, Fine Arts Chamber Players and The Dallas Opera
  • 2015 — Dallas Theater Center and Kitchen Dog Theater

The selection of the recipients is made from submitted application that are “reviewed each year by a national panel of distinguished artists and arts managers.” This year’s jurors included

  • Matt Albert (Chair, Department of Chamber Music, University of Michigan)
  • Laura Barbee (Adjunct Faculty Member, The School for Classical & Contemporary Dance, TCU)
  • Stephen Brown-Fried (Theatre Director)
  • Roger Brunyate (Director Emeritus, The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Kenneth Foster (Director of Arts Leadership, Thornton School of Music, USC)
  • Greg Fulkerson (Professor of Violin, Oberlin College and Conservatory)
  • Dean Gladden (Managing Director, The Alley Theatre)
  • Andy Grotelueschen (Company Member, Fiasco Theater)
  • Emily Hunter (Dance Teacher, Booker T. Washington High School Greg Hustis: Professor of Horn, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU Baba Israel: Artist, Producer, Educator, and Consultant)
  • Parisa Khobdeh (Dancer, Paul Taylor Dance Company)
  • Emily Lyon (Literary Manager, BEDLAM)
  • Patricia McGregor (Theatre Director, Writer, and Playwright)
  • Jonathan Moscone (Chief of Civic Engagement, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts)
  • Jonathan Norton (Playwright)
  • Brian Perry (Bassist, Dallas Symphony Orchestra)
  • Roche Schulfer (Executive Director, Goodman Theatre)

For more information about applications and requirements, contact Greg Oertel at 214.520.3930.

10th Annual Lexus Party On The Green Had A Full Array Of Food, Fashions And Fundraising For TACA

Finally, Mother Nature proved she could be kind on Friday, May 6. Following off-and-on days of wavering temps, hail, thunder and skies filled with frightening light shows, the skies cleared and breezes flowed at user-friendly speeds. At the Mansion on Turtle Creek, the TACA Lexus Party On The Green (POG) VIP types discovered that the auto courtyard was just that. Instead of being commandeered for cooking chefs and staging for bands and dancing, it had valets receiving and giving out cars for guests of TACA’s 10th annual POG.

Guests were directed to the side parking area for the check-in and the tented start-up partying. TACA Executive Director Becky Young greeted one and all and raised her eyes to heaven with a big, old smile. She recalled past POGs that had survived tornado alerts and rainstorms. Yes, the weather was indeed playing nice.

The partying had hardly started then the tent was filled to capacity, with the fallout spilling onto the terraces and throughout the hotel’s public rooms, where more cooking and sipping was in full swing. And while all 600 were there to graze, sip and support the performing arts, there was a definite division in the ranks on what to wear.

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Billy and Jodie Payton

Billy and Jodie Payton

Kristen and Ladd Sanger and Amy Green

Kristen and Ladd Sanger and Amy Green

Some opted for the bare shoulder look (POG Chair Tierney Kaufman Hutchins, Diane Brierley, Debra Nelson, Kristen Sanger, Elizabeth Tripplehorn Laurenzi, Lisas Cooley and Ogle, Jody Payton, Tiffany Divis, Nancy Gopez, Christy Coltrin, Debbie Horres, Michel Hagood and D’Andra Simmons Lock).

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock

Nancy Gopez and Paul Divis

Nancy Gopez and Paul Divis

Andre Staffelbach and Jo Staffelbach Heinz

Andre Staffelbach and Jo Staffelbach Heinz

Others went for light cotton (Ann Hobson, Brad Oldham, Barbara Daseke, Paul Divis, Ron Corning, Jo Staffelbach Heinz, Shane Allen, Amy Green and Jeremy Lock).

And still some went totally floral silks (Dee Simmons, Phyllis Comu, Natalie Westbrook and Mary Ann Cree).

John Bowden and Dee Simmons

John Bowden and Dee Simmons

CJ and Phyllis Comu

CJ and Phyllis Comu

Alex Laurenzi and Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi, Tarryn Franco and David Cash

Alex Laurenzi and Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi, Tarryn Franco and David Cash

And, of course, there were ever-proper jacket/open-shirt types (emcee Bill Ogle, Jared Hutchins, Andre Staffelbach, Clay Cooley, Ladd Sanger, Alex Laurenzi, David Cash, John Bowden and Billy Payton).

But the most popular attire of the night was the chef’s jacket that was being worn by the 22 participating chefs: Nick Amoriello of Kitchen LTO, Fidel Baeza of Rosewood Mayakoba, Edgar Beas of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Nicolas Blouin of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Matt Dallman and Scott Gottlich of 18th and Vine, Graham Dodds of Wayward Sons, Enrico Figliuolo of Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Mervin Friday of Rosewood Crescent, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar and Lisa Garza Taste Studio, Jared Harms of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Mathew Ingersoll of The Capital Grille, Brian Luscher of The Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots, Matt McCallister of FT33 and Filament, Danyele McPherson of Remedy and HG Sply Co., Victor Palma of Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Peter Rudolph of Rosewood Sand Hill, Abraham Salum of Salum, Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Braden and Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen and Devadip Zahar of Rosewood Las Ventanas.

Matt McCallister and Danyele McPherson

Matt McCallister and Danyele McPherson

Graham Dodds

Graham Dodds

Peter Rudolph

Peter Rudolph

Victor Palma

Victor Palma

 Jared Harms

Jared Harms

Needless to say, the competition was hot and delicious. But the coterie of judges (Dallas Morning NewsLeslie Brenner, D Magazine’s Catherine Downes and Modern Luxury’s Kristie Ramirez) had the challenge to pick the best dish of the night for the 2016 Golden Skillet Award. After sampling each of the dishes, the winner was Lisa’s sassafras braised lamb shank with blue corn cake, poached quail eggs and pickled ramps rye cracker.

Fidel Baeza

Fidel Baeza

Stephen Rogers' dish

Stephen Rogers’ dish

Stephen Rogers

Stephen Rogers

Fidel Baeza's dish

Fidel Baeza’s dish

But still there were a couple who came so close, like Fidel (Caribbean tres leches: passion fruit sponge cake, traditional tres leches syrup, mango and guava) and Stephen (jumbo lump crab with spring vegetables, cashews and Thai vinaigrette), who both earned honorable mentions.

Brian Luscher

Brian Luscher

Brian Luscher's dish

Brian Luscher’s dish

And while longtime POG Chef Brian admitted weeks ago that he just knew he would not achieve his goal of the Golden Skillet, he was on a stool still recovering from foot surgery. The bad news is that Brian was right. He didn’t get the Goldie Pan. The good news was he won the very first ever People’s Choice Award for his spiced pork, rillettes, pickled grapes, grainy mustard and pumpernickel toast. This award, along with voting via cellphone, was a new development for the annual TACA fundraiser thanks to Tierney. And, of course, there was the traditional wine cork pull and raffle for a shiny new Lexus.

For more photos of the fashions and foods, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: TACA’s 10th Annual Lexus Party On The Green

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

For once Mother Nature was on her very best behavior on the evening of Friday, May 6. Perhaps it was after so many years of weather woes that she had thrust upon TACA’s Lexus Party On The Green, she decided that the TACA fundraiser deserved to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the best conditions. In fact the only clouds in the area were the 22 celebrity chefs cooking up a storm indoors and outdoors at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Stephen Rogers' dish

Stephen Rogers’ dish

Fidel Baeza's dish

Fidel Baeza’s dish

To match the flawless skies, the hundreds of guests pulled out their favorite summer fashions. From seersucker to silks, the frocks and foods can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery while the post is being completed.

Lexus Party On The Green Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Something Old, Something New, Something Edible, Something Drinkable

Tierney Kaufman Hutchins was just 21 years old when Lynn and Allan McBee co-chaired the very first Party on the Green for TACA. Now, 10 years later she’s chairing the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. And guess who she’s tapped for honorary co-chairs. Yup, Lynn and Allan.

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins (File photo)

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

In addition to chairing the event and holding down her job at Trinity Trust, Tierney this past year has gotten married to Jared Hutchins and just recently moved into a new house.

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Matt McCallister (File photo)

Danyele McPherson (File photo)

Danyele McPherson (File photo)

Ah, but the blonde is a multi-tasker. She’s arranged for the following chefs to be cooking up a storm all over the grounds and rooms of the Mansion: Nick Amoriell of Kitchen LTO, Fidel Baeza of Rosewood Mayakoba, Edgar Beas of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Nicolas Blouin of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Matt Dallman and Scott Gottlich of 18th and Vine, Graham Dodds of Wayward Sons, Enrico Figliuolo of Rosewood Castiglion de Bosco, Mervin Friday of Rosewood Crescent, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Jared Harms of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Mathew Ingersoll of The Capital Grill, Brian Luscher of The Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots, Matt McCallister of FT33 and Filament, Danyele McPherson of Remedy and HG Supply Co., Victor Palma of Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Peter Rudolph of Rosewood Sand Hill, Abraham Salum of Salum, Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches Wagyu Beef, Braden and Yasmin Wages of Malai Kitchen and Devadip Zahar of Rosewood Las Ventanas.

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Scott Gottlich (File photo)

Scott Gottlich (File photo)

Of course, there will be right-official judging for the winner of the Golden Skillet Award by foodie know-it-all types — The Dallas Morning NewsLeslie Brenner, D Magazine’s Catherine Downes and Modern Luxury’s Kristie Ramirez. But there’s an addition this year! Guests will be able to add their two-cents by voting the winner of the first ever Party on the Green People’s Choice Award.

Party On The Green (File photo)

Party On The Green (File photo)

Still another addition this year is the voting for the silent auction packages that will feature “20 exclusive travel- and food-related silent auction packages, each personally curated by participating celebrity chefs.” Tierney has arranged to have the bidding to be via “mobile bidding this year to make it easy to spend money.”

Of course, there will be the wine cork pull that’s being co-sponsored by Glazer’s and Merrill Lynch and the 2016 Lexus RX-350 donated by the Dallas-Fort Worth Lexus Dealers. Other sponsors include:

  • Presenting sponsor — Lexus
  • Patron sponsor — The Rosewood Corporation
  • Wristband sponsor — Frost Bank
  • Official airline — American Airlines
  • Fireworks sponsor — Highland Park Village
  • Auction sponsor — AT&T
  • Pashmina sponsor — Sandra and Sam Moon
  • Chef sponsors ($5,000) —Diane and Hal Brierley, Carlson Capital LP, Barbara and Don Daseke, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Kara and Randall Goss, Dawn and Tobin Grove, Jennifer and Chris LeLash, the Marie Keese-LeLash Foundation, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Paradox Compensation Advisors, Leah and Jim Pasant, Family Sommer, Strait Capital and Flexjet and Michele and Stephen Vobach.

If you’ve already locked down your tickets and a handful of raffle tickets, then go get that adorable outfit that you’ve been dying to buy. Now, you’ve got the perfect excuse to have it!

Weather Played Nicely For The 38th TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon Honoring Rebecca Fletcher And James E. Wiley Jr.

Was it just a year ago that TACA Carlson President/Executive Director Becky Young was walking her pooch and questioning the future of the day’s Silver Cup luncheon? Sure, it was a knock-out, slippery, icy day with traffic reports boding it wasn’t the best for folks to be out. But Becky didn’t want to let Silver Cup honorees Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning miss their tributes. And then there were all those preparations — the food, the flowers, the entertainers and those hundreds and hundreds of guests!

After checking with the local TV weathercasters, Becky was thinking that postponement might be best. But the final push to pull the plug was honoree/attorney Don chiming in that he didn’t want to think of anyone being harmed trying to get to the event.

With that the event was put on ice, literally. But lemonade resulted from the lemon of a weather situation. Flowers were sent to area hospitals. Luncheon fare was sent to homeless shelters that were in greater need due to the weather’s damnation. A delayed mini-presentation of the awards was hosted on a beautiful day weeks later by Mary McDermott Cook.

But on Friday, February 19, the temps were downright embarrassing as sunscreen-friendly 80s were replacing the past year’s chills for the 2016 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Ginger Reeder and Kevin Hurst

Ginger Reeder and Kevin Hurst

While the hundreds gathered outside the Hilton Anatole’s Grand Ballroom to check in, the VIPs including past Silver Cup recipients headed to the nearby Media Grill and Bar Restaurant. Some seemed a little bewildered at the location. A table with three empty chairs and a TACA poster on an easel indicated that the VIP reception was indeed within. Passing by hotel guests at the bar watching a basketball game on the big screen, the TACA types moseyed on back to a semi-private dining room. Pretty soon the area became so packed with people like Honorary Chair Ann Hobson, Kevin Hurst, Jennifer Eagle, Tom Mayer, Ted Enloe and Carol Glendenning, they spilled out into the hallway.

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

Unlike years past when the award recipients opened the boxes, revealing the Silver Cups to the assembled guests, the 38th Cup awardees Rebecca Fletcher and James “Jim” Wiley Jr. gleefully opened the boxes in the back of the room unbeknownst to others. Didn’t matter because the cups shone like the Rebecca’s and Jim’s smiles.

From the left: (back row) Lucilo Pena, Howard Rachofsky, Frank Risch, Cindy Rachofsky, Bess Enloe, John Eagle and Howard Hallam; (front row) Catherine Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Rebecca Fletcher, James E. Wiley Jr. and Don Glendenning

From the left: (back row) Lucilo Pena, Howard Rachofsky, Frank Risch, Cindy Rachofsky, Bess Enloe, John Eagle and Howard Hallam; (front row) Catherine Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Rebecca Fletcher, James E. Wiley Jr. and Don Glendenning

Just before the VIP party broke up, the annual group photo of Silver Cup recipients, past and present, was staged in a corner of the room. Unfortunately, some, like past Silver Cup recipients Mary McDermott Cook, Kern Wildenthal, Holly Mayer and Ruben Esquivel, had already moved on to the Grand Ballroom. Just as well because they couldn’t have squeezed any more folks into that corner.

Lee Cullum

Lee Cullum

Tara Lewis

Tara Lewis

Pete Chilian

Pete Chilian

Marsha Cameron

Marsha Cameron

But once inside the Grand Ballroom, there was plenty of room for folks to settle down for lunch. Mistress of ceremonies Lee Cullum introduced the head table including Co-Chairs Pilar Henry and Tara Lewis, J.P. Morgan’s Peter Chilian, 2015 Silver Cup Awardees Don Glendenning and Catherine Rose, TACA Board Chair Donna Wilhelm, Paradox Compensation Advisors’ Marsha Cameron, Neiman Marcus’ Ginger Reeder and the 2016 Silver Cup Awardees Rebecca and Jim. She then invited the Rev. Douglas Travis of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church to come to the podium to give the invocation. Just before having him take over, she said, “He may not know that I’m in his parish.” Without missing a beat, Douglas said, “I know.” A chuckle was heard from the audience just before they bowed their heads.

Grace Browning

Grace Browning

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

At 12:10 luncheon (baby kale salad followed by an entrée of chicken, mushroom and leek fricassee and a chocolate pistachio torte for dessert) was served while The Dallas Opera principal harpist Grace Browning played on a mini-stage at one of the room and was followed by Dallas Chamber Symphony principal clarinet Jonathan Jones on a similar stage across the way. At one point Jonathan played Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and it was noted that eating utensils seemed to move faster.

Charles Karanja

Charles Karanja

Following Lee’s state-of-the-arts review, Tara’s thanking the sponsors and remarks by Pete, Marsha and Donna, Ginger introduced the 2016 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Performers pianist Tara Emerson and tenor Charles Karanja, who performed on a stage in front of the head table.

Following the performance, Catherine Rose introduced fourth-generation Texan Jim, remarking that “one of his many sterling qualities is his willingness to step in and volunteer for the hardest work and then actually do the work.”

James E. Wiley Jr.

James E. Wiley Jr.

He kicked off his brief acceptance speech with “Wow! Shazam!” His acceptance speech was mingled with humor and sincerity, “having had the good fortune of picking parents who lived in Dallas” and attributing his early love for the arts to his DISD teachers. While admitting that Dallas’ arts have flourished over the years, he asked, “Where do we go from here?” He suggested the “biggest challenge is figuring out a way to empower all the diverse and disparate parts to come together and experience the joy of true community.” With the costs of sports participation and attendance being prohibitive for families, he reasoned that “enjoying art in all its forms and experiencing the outdoors and nature are two viable ways for Dallas to come together as a community.”

At 1:22 p.m. the ever-eloquent Don’s introduction of Rebecca sounded more like a love note. In closing, he paraphrased Lerner and Lowe’s “We Call the Wind Maria(h),” saying

“’Way out here we have a name for rain and wind and fire. The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe and we call the wind Maria(h).’ In that same spirit, I give you our arts force of nature — Rebecca.”

Rebecca Fletcher

Rebecca Fletcher

Like Jim, Rebecca started off her acceptance speech with, “Wow!” She then recalled attending her first Silver Cup Award luncheon in 1993, when her mother Bess Enloe received the award. It “sparked” the idea of leaving the legal profession and working for in the nonprofit sector.

She accepted the award graciously, telling the audience that it was especially meaningful since she and James had worked together in the past. Rebecca then took the opportunity of explaining why her focus had been primarily on the arts, “because of what they can uniquely give back to our community. Imagine a society without the influence of arts and you’ll have to strip out the most pleasurable in life. Take away the collective memory of our museums. Remove the bands from our schools, the choirs from our communities; lose empathetic plays and dance from our theaters and you’re left with a society bereft of a national conversation about its identity or anything else.”

Thanking her associates and friends, she teared up in recognizing her family. But Rebecca was not going to end her talk with tears. Instead she announced that she was going to “set the record straight” about her husband Barron Fletcher. “Many of you have often complimented me on the relationship that I set up between Titas and the Performing Arts Center during my tenure as the board chair. Well, I have to come clean. It was not my idea. [laughter from the audience] It was Barron Fletcher’s. Barron was the one who stayed up with me pouring over Titas’ books and designing a new business model. Furthermore, he personally wrote a check to cover the organization, so that I could go out and negotiate the deal. So, just so we all know, Barron Fletcher saved Titas.”

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

The performing art crowd didn’t have to battle ice and snow this year to present TACA’s annual Silver Cup Awards on Friday, February 19. In fact the weather was downright user-friendly to make up for last year. And that made the luncheon and presentation of the awards to Rebecca Fletcher and James E. Wiley Jr. at the Hilton Anatole even more perfect.

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Jennifer Eagle

Jennifer Eagle

While the post is being prepared, check out the pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Passing: Gladys Weatherby “Sis” Carr

The official records have her listed as “Gladys Weatherby Carr.” But everyone knew her as 96-year-old Sis Carr, who was way ahead of her time along with gals like Annette Strauss. Everyone seemed to conjure the image of her deep brown hair pulled back in a bun, her face always glowing with a smile and a marvelous twinkle in her eyes. Wednesday, March 2, that smile and twinkle continued in the memories of those who knew her.

But ask anyone who knew her firsthand and the words like philanthropy, generosity and femininity couldn’t help but enter the conversation. But in the back of their minds, they still thought — “Yellow.”

Whoa! That’s not to say that Mrs. Plack Carr was wishy-washy like a chicken-type color. It was rather her signature color. Before Madonna was born, Sis was the Yellow Rose of Texas. From her polished yellow nails to her donning a yellow mink jacket, she was a shining star.

For those who knew Sis, they couldn’t help passing the Carr estate on Forest built in 1952 without acknowledging the yellow flowers at the entrance, the yellow upholstery, the yellow furniture and the yellow curtains that welcomed family, friends and friends-to-come.

According to a Preston Hollow Advocate article, “We moved out to the country because our daughter really loved horses. We originally had 20 acres, with a large pen out here. She could just ride her horse all over.”

When her daughter Catherine Carr dated the late comedian George Burns, she sloughed it off like any mom would when their adorable daughter was seeing an upper classman.

As TACA Executive Director Becky Young proclaimed about one of the TACA founding sisters, “She was an extraordinary supporter and patron of the performing arts. She rolled up her sleeves and just did the work. She made a real difference in everyone’s life she touched. And, she probably connected thousands of citizens in our community to the arts.”

Her collection of support included being a board member for TITAS, TACA, Dallas Opera, Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet (now Texas Ballet Theater), Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Symphony League, Friends of WRR, “former president of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, member of the Charter 100, board member/chairman of conducting auditions for National Council of Metropolitan Opera, the Dallas Garden Center, Dallas Children’s Theater Center, Dallas Summer Musicals and countless more.”

As for the wave of honors and awards, Sis’ included “Dallas Dance Council’s Mary McCherry Bywaters Award for lifetime contributions to dance, Sammon Center for the Arts Queen of Hearts Award, Dallas Theater Center’s Center Stage Gala honoree, Dallas Historical Society Award for Excellence, Family of the Year Award of the YMCA Award of Metropolitan Dallas, Juanita and Henry Miller Opera Award, March of Dimes’ Obelisk Award, Flora Award, Grand Dame Award, Opera Guild Sweetheart of the Year Award, TACA Silver Cup Award and many, many more.”

It is with great regret that MySweetCharity reports the passing of a remarkable person within our community. If you have a load of time, you might want to read Sis’s obituary. In the meantime, Sis is with Plack and probably raising funds for the heavenly sounds of music.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 4, at St. Michael and All Angels Church.

With A Slight Change of Agenda, TACA Grant Presentation Went Off Without A Hitch Handing Out $1.3M To Performing Arts

With a full moon peeking through the clouds, the lovers of the performing arts gathered at the Wyly Theatre on Monday, January 25. The occasion was the handing over of the checks by TACA to area performing art nonprofit. Thanks to the 2015 year-long effort, a gangbuster $1.3M was being divvied up.

Only problem was, some folks showed up at 5:30. Oops! Seems the early bird missive had listed the evening start at 5:30. Then there was a change in plans. According to a TACA spokespeep, they had decided to change things up this year. Instead of a pre-presentation reception, there would be a post-presentation, on-stage celebration. Only problem? Not everyone got the COP (change of plans) word.

WAnda Gierhart

Wanda Gierhart

Robyn Flatt

Robyn Flatt

Barbara Daseke and Laree Hulshoff

Barbara Daseke and Laree Hulshoff

Not to worry. There was a massive row of flutes filled with champagne in the lobby for thirsty early birds like Linda Gibbons, Pat PorterRichard Holt, Carol and Don Glendenning, Robyn FlattJeremy Strick, Brent Christopher, Kevin Hurst, Wanda GierhartBarbara and Don Daseke, and Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer.  Laree was taking a break from the Aging Minds Foundation fundraiser and the OMG Sue Gragg 18kt rose gold, diamond, and white topaz ring valued at toppest tier four-figures for the Aging Minds Foundation.

According to the gals, they’ve partnered up with the incredible BvB Dallas to sell the raffle tickets for this one. And the BvB ladies are incentivized. The prize for selling the most tickets is a pair of Gragg earrings.

Hmm, Laree and Barbara D. were whispering to each other about the Aging Mind Foundation trio of live auction items. Laree swears on her Shih Tzus that the three items are killers. Stay tuned on this one. Think dining above the Performing Arts District, and adventure on Togo Island and a killer Kentucky Derby weekend!

On the other hand, Wanda was second-thinking her luck. Seems her new home was having all types of adjustment issues like leaks, flooding of the master bedroom and the need to replace the underground pipes.

Kevin, fresh from participating in the Dallas Marathon, reported that he signed up for a couple of other high-stepping events as well. The reason? He admitted that when he had lived in Chicago, he had been more active in the marathon world. He had decided recently to make a change and was getting back into the run of things.

Parisa Khobdeh

Parisa Khobdeh

One of the evening’s highlights was former Plano resident/Paul Taylor Dance Company artist/2016 Grant Awards Guest Artist-Speaker Parisa Khobdeh’s recalling how despite life-threatening issues, she has managed to continue her love of dance.

When the checks were presented, it all went according to plan. Well, sure, Echo Theatre’s Terri Ferguson got her shawl momentarily caught on the railing. A gasp went up from the audience, but she made a quick recovery. Without missing a cue, emcee Ken Travis said, “Bravo!”

For a breakdown on how all the checks were distributed, check here!

JUST IN: New TACA Officers And Board Members Revealed

TACA made news last night with its grant presentation. Today TACA’s newest members of the board along with new officers were announced. With Donna Wilhelm staying at the “helm,” along with Gwen Echols in place as vice chairman of programs, the new officers are Treasurer Jim Nugent and Secretary Pete Chilian.

As for the new board members, they ranged from backgrounds in law and banking to education and volunteering. The frosh class of 2016 who will serve three-year terms are:

  • Jacquie Donovan is the Regional Community Relations Manager of Bank of Texas, where she has held numerous positions. Prior to coming to Dallas, Jacquie held marketing and community relations positions at Bank of Texas in Houston and at Bank of Albuquerque. Jacquie previously served as a TACA Grants Panel member and will be the newest member of TACA’s Profile and Brand Management Committee in 2016.
  • Alan Dorantes is Senior Legal Counsel with AT&T. Currently, he is co-chair of the AT&T Legal Department Diversity and Inclusion committee and active in the Legal Department’s educational pipeline initiatives. He serves on the Board of the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation. He has had past roles on the Advisory Board of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA) and as a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force. Alan and his wife, Holly, are co-chairs for this year’s TACA’s Lexus Chance Ticket Campaign.
  • Barbara Durham is an active community volunteer. She served as a member of TACA’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004. Barbara is a member of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Board of Directors, where she currently serves as the underwriting chair for Art in Bloom. Barbara also serves on the Board of Governors for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Human Rights Initiative. Barbara and her husband Steve are members TACA’s Founders Circle.
Barbara Durham (File photo)

Barbara Durham (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

  • Laree Hulshoff is an avid arts patron. Prior to her retirement, Laree was a Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Advisor for Morgan Stanley. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Contemporary and WaterTower Theater. In 2013, she founded the Aging Mind Foundation in Dallas. Laree and Ben Fisher are members of TACA’s Founders Circle.
  • Debbie Lively is a Partner with Thompson & Knight. Her practice focuses on intellectual property, sweepstakes, and privacy law. She serves as Co-Chair of Thompson & Knight’s cross-practice Advertising and Social Media initiative. Debbie has twelve years of classical training in piano and is a patron of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Cliburn Foundation. She has attended performances at every Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1969.
Katherine Wynn (File photo)

Katherine Wynn (File photo)

  • Katherine Wynne is Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust in Dallas. Katherine is extensively involved in the community. Her current and former board positions include the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT), the Dallas Children’s Theater and the Housing Crisis Center. She has served as chairman of the 2009 Cattle Baron’s Ball and member of the Host Committee for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV. Katherine is the mother of two sixth-generation Texans.
  • Zannie Voss is Director and Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU. She is a recognized authority on arts management, entrepreneurship and patronage. She is director of the first-of-its-kind National Center for Arts Research. The center, established by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, uses the largest database of arts research ever assembled to investigate important issues in arts management and patronage. Zannie leads TACA Perforum each fall, and is rejoining TACA’s Board after six previous years of service.

JUST IN: TACA Just Provided $1.3M To 48 Performing Arts Groups Tonight

Santa may have ruled December, but the fundraisers are the gift givers in January from the past year’s efforts. And once again Bank of Texas is sponsoring the event to give the moola away. Tonight 48 performing art groups of North Texas were head-over-stiletto-heels as TACA presented checks totaling $1.3M at the Wyly. Newbies to receive funding were Vox Humana and Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet.

This makes the ninth consecutive year that TACA broke the million-dollar giveaway!

Here is the breakdown of the happy artistic campers who were onstage with smiles:

  • Musical Ensembles
    • Chamber Music International – $5,000
    • Dallas Bach Society – $8,000
    • Dallas Chamber Music Society – $5,000
    • Fine Arts Chamber Players – $29,000
    • Orchestra of New Spain – $15,000
    • Sammons Center for the Arts – $11,000
    • Texas Winds Musical Outreach – $12,000
    • Tuesday Nite Jazz – $10,000
    • Voices of Change – $10,000
  • Symphonic Arts
    • Dallas Chamber Symphony – $13,000
    • Dallas Symphony Orchestra – $100,000
    • Dallas Winds – $35,000
    • Lone Star Wind Orchestra – $13,000
    • Plano Symphony Orchestra – $10,000
  • Operatic Arts
    • The Dallas Opera – $100,000
  • Choral Arts
    • Arts District Chorale – $5,000
    • Orpheus Chamber Singers – $15,000
    • Plano Civic Chorus – $6,000
    • Vox Humana – $5,000
  • Dance
    • Avant Chamber Ballet – $12,500
    • Bruce Wood Dance Project – $15,000
    • Dallas Black Dance Theatre – $85,000
    • Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet – $5,000
    • Texas Ballet Theater – $70,000
    • TITAS – $65,000
  • Theater Arts
    • African American Repertory Theater – $12,500
    • Cara Mía Theatre Company – $15,000
    • Dallas Theater Center – $100,000
    • Echo Theatre – $12,000
    • Kitchen Dog Theater – $35,000
    • Lyric Stage – $30,000
    • Second Thought Theatre – $18,000
    • Shakespeare Dallas – $35,000
    • Teatro Dallas – $10,000
    • Theatre Three – $30,000
    • Undermain Theatre – $25,000
    • Uptown Players – $33,000
    • WaterTower Theatre – $40,000
  • Spoken Word
    • WordSpace – $5,000
  • Youth Arts
    • Big Thought – $15,000
    • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas – $37,000
    • Dallas Children’s Theater – $75,000
    • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra – $45,000
    • Junior Players – $38,000
    • Lone Star Circus Arts Center – $5,000
  • Collaborative Partners
    • AT&T Performing Arts Center – $5,000
    • Nasher Sculpture Center – $10,000
    • SMU Meadows School of the Arts – $10,000

One of TACA’s fundraising efforts will take place on Friday, February 19, when Rebecca Fletcher and James E. Wiley Jr. are presented the TACA Silver Cup at the Hilton Anatole.